Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chaos Cooking

It feels like forever since I've posted something and I'd claim it's because I haven't had time, but the truth is, we all have time for whatever we make a priority. I've just had other priorities like my niece's bday party, baking cookies, spending all weekend with family in the kitchen and trying to make time for what we all strangely make a priority - my job.

I'll be honest - I don't feel bad about not posting, but I do wish I could have 27 hours instead of 24 each day. Maybe 35 hours would be even better. I could blog every day, I'd have time to seriously experiment with bread recipes and I could finally make time for taking down the Christmas tree (no, it's not a priority - what of it?)


But given just 24 hours, here's the stuff I'll make time for every day because if you stop and think about it (and throw out all the garbage we've been fed about what should be a priority), this is the stuff that really, truly matters:
  1. connecting w/ loved ones
  2. connecting w/ friends
  3. preparing kiss food (if you don't know what this means, click the word "kiss" and read the blog)
  4. managing finances
  5. fitness routine
  6. sleep
See? Blogging doesn't even make it onto the list. In fact, the only way blogging might possibly end up on the list is under priority number 2 - because I guess a blog could be away of connecting with friends (or possibly loved ones) although I'd prefer alternatives like face-to-face, phone calls, facebook or twitter. And I just realized something - "career" or "job" doesn't make it onto the priority list either. But then, why should a career be so important? Will it ever love you? Can you (truly) depend on it? Does a career make you a better person? Does a career help you focus on caring loving others?

Now I'm not saying I always follow this priority list. But I should. In fact, now that I've officially made it a priority list, I'll start following it.

This weekend I pretty much stuck with the first two priorities - connecting with friends and family. It was my little niece A's 1st year bday party and my sister M had invited the whole family (plus friends) down to TN to celebrate. Most of my immediate family made it down and we spent Friday and Saturday crammed into the galley kitchen prepping a homemade party feast. And when I say crammed into the kitchen, that's not a bad thing. And when I say a feast, I'm not exaggerating. It was bliss: family, food and my beautiful baby niece all packed into one weekend.

The party can only be described as a success and it's all because of one thing. I've said this over and over - cooking should be about demonstrating love (either for yourself or for someone else). This weekend exemplified that in every way. With seven family members packed into a cramped galley kitchen working on two soups, a cornbread, two salsas, humus, red bean dip and homemade pita chips, the chaos could quickly have deteriorated into irritation, arguments, hurt feelings and petty competition. With so many things to prepare and coordinate, it would have been easy to focus on the negative instead of remembering the reason for the party - to celebrate!

But I think I speak for everyone when I say that we had a phenomenal time. It wasn't just about cooking - it was about connecting and sharing. Everyone helped with something, everyone pitched in, everyone gave something of themselves because everyone cared. It wasn't about the food, it wasn't about the drinks, it wasn't about the decorations and it wasn't about the presents - it was about love. We were all there to celebrate the first bday of a little girl we all love, and food was just one of the mediums for expression.

I felt happier on this trip - packed in a cramped kitchen with seven family members for two days straight - than I have ever felt "relaxing" in my own "free time". In fact, I felt happier in that cramped kitchen than I feel in my own remodeled ergonomic kitchen. You already know what moral I'm going to draw from this story, so I won't bother beating a dead horse. Either you get it or you don't: big kitchens and lots of free time don't create happiness - there's no replacement for love and the connections it creates.




3 comments:

  1. We still have the Christmas lights up on the porch. Because I don't want to take them down. We've got colored "icicle" style lights up, and they make me happy. They make me happy at Christmastime, and I see no reason why I should have to defrock my house of happy just cause like, society says so.

    Ted points out that this costs us about a dime a day in electricity. I point out that this only costs us about a dime a day in electricity.

    Ted leaves them up, though, for me, and I am very happy to have such a good partner. :)

    Also: what about your friend S's bday party, huh? ;)

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  2. yeah for the past 3 yrs or more it's taken till about april every yr to get down the tree. i love the xmas tree and i hate the feeling of putting it away and wrapping up all the ornaments, so i refuse to take it down till at least the middle of january. but, due to all the other stuff in life, it's now stretched itself till about april :)

    and here's the part where i beg off my friend S's bday party due to a sick kitty and an anniversary weekend w/ bf that's been postponed since beginning of february. :( maybe my friend S would like to celebrate her bday a second time...? maybe?

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  3. Friend S's birthday lasts at least a month, so that should work out.

    I'm swayed by the sick kitty. Poor sick kitty!! I hope he is OK. :(

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